Thursday, January 20, 2011

That doesn't define you. Then what does?

During a conversation with a friend today the following question (more or less) came into play, "What defines us?" I made several attempts to answer this question, but I still feel like my one word answer didn't give the question justice. So, after hours of mulling it over in my mind here is the conclusions I have come to.

What defines us? Is it our experiences? The things we have done or the things done to us? Maybe it pertains to our accomplishments or misfortunes: a college degree, marriage, divorce, procreation, wealth, bankruptcy. I have a college degree. I’m married, have kids, been divorced; does that define who I am. Not hardly. Perhaps it’s your title. I’m a wife, a Mother, a Woman, a Student, a Writer, an Artist. Sure, these are all things that describe me but these titles do not define me.

How about the furnishings in our homes, is that what defines us? Our clothes? Our jewelry. What about our skills?

Does any of this truly define who a person is?

After much thought, I’ve come to the simple conclusion. Defining who you are is not the same as describing who you are. The character is what defines a person. But the character is an enigma. It is ever changing. As you grow, so does it. As you meander through the experiences in life both good and bad, those experiences are what shape your character. Not in the experiences themselves, but in our reactions to those experiences. That is what defines our character, and that is what defines us.

Think of your character as a large unrefined piece of marble. Every experience in life, every choice you make chisels off pieces of that marble. Sure choices, the ones made with conviction and resolve fall like sure strokes upon the marbles face, each landing in the perfect spot taking away just enough to gain a glimpse of the masterpiece beneath. The strokes of the hammer upon the stone refines the marble, refines your character. From that first stroke, that piece of marble has changed. Never can it go back to what it was before, it can only move forward with what it has. And if the artist makes mistakes, just as mistakes happen in life, the design is not lost it is just redefined.

No comments:

Post a Comment